Aromatherapy can be used as safe natural remedy for minor ailments of children, as apart from providing the comfort of healing without the worry of unknown side effects of over-the-counter medications, it has been noticed that the natural vigour and powerful immune response of children makes them highly responsive to aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy treatment methods can come in handy on minor day-to-day issues concerning children, like using Lavendar sitz bath to heal baby’s diaper rash, cider vinegar and lavender to improve healing of swollen bruised knees, and tea tree oil to save the day when mosquitoes attack during an outing.
However, the natural remedies work best when used at the start of an illness. Some of the popular essential oils that help treat children’s ailment are tea tree oil, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, sandalwood, chamomile, bergamot, bergamot, mandarin, and St. John’s wort usually sold in form of herbal oil.
Method of use of essential oils
It is best to use essential oils diluted in carrier oil (the exceptions being tea tree and lavender). The dosages and formulas for children should be only half of those for adults, depending on child’s body weight and constitution. For young children, this implies that 1 to 3 drops of essential oil should be added to 1 ounce of carrier oil.
Initially, allow the child to sniff the oil. A patch test can be done before use to check for sensitivity or allergy. Lavender or chamomile can be used even on a sensitive child.
Uses of essential oil for children
Diaper rash is often the result of yeast overgrowth. A daily lavender sitz bath can help in rapidly eliminating candida and soothe irritation. Add 1 to 3 drops of lavender oil to the bath tub filled up to the level of baby’s hip with tepid water, and agitate the water to disperse oil. Allow the baby to sit in the tub for five to fifteen minutes.
Chamomile is beneficial for teething and also soothes pain and calms baby’s nerves. Prepare a blend of 1 ounce of carrier oil with 6 drops of chamomile. Warm the oil and massage the blend along baby’s jaw and around the ears.
You can make a wound cleaner by adding a part of tea tree oil to 16 parts of water and shake vigorously. Wash the wound with this solution. Even when you are in the woods and no sanitary facility is available, the mixture serves as an effective disinfectant.
For skinned knees and bruises, fill a bowl with equal parts of cool water and apple cider vinegar and put 6 drops of lavender. Dip in a diaper or flannel and wring out excess liquid and apply to bruised area.
Lavender oil offers immediate and effective relief from sting of insect bites. For bites and stings, the oil can be used directly by dabbing the lavender onto the bite as required.
Lavender oil is very popular in healing burns. Apply undiluted for emergency care of burns. Add 6 drops of lavender in to a lukewarm tub and allow the child to sit in the tub for some-time.
Cold and fever
Add 2 drops of eucalyptus or tea tree oil to bath water when you bathe your child. Also, six to eight drops of eucalyptus oil can be added to a diffuser or warm-air vapourizer and used in your child’s bedroom to cleanse and purify the air.
Peppermint and eucalyptus are helpful cooling oils that can render comfort during fever. However, peppermint oil should be used only 1 drop at a time, as too much can be stimulating. To cool fever, add 1 to 2 drops of peppermint oil to a bowl of cool water and apply with a sponge or forehead compress. However, remember not to use peppermint oil on an irritated skin.
For respiratory tract infection, place the child in a full bath with 3 to 6 drops of eucalyptus oil. For sore throat, steam inhalation with eucalyptus oil is good.
To one ounce of carrier oil, add 2 drops of lavender, 1 drop of eucalyptus and 2 drops of chamomile and give a gentle warm massage on the areas of most discomfort during a cold. When massaged onto chest and back, these oils apart from loosening mucus also helps the child to get well due to anti-infectious properties of the oil.
Tuck the child into bed and massage gently with an ounce of carrier oil added to 4 drops of chamomile. Use a warm flannel or heating pad.
At the onset of ear tourble, mix 3 drops of chamomile to a bowl of hot water and apply a warm compress over the ear. Reapply as it cools, and adding more chamomile may be needed. Dab a cotton ball with 3 drops of chamomile, 3 drops of lavender and an ounce of carrier oil, and gently place the cotton ball in the ear and replace it with fresh cotton ball thrice a day. Continue until the pain is gone. Moreover, if your child is prone to ear infections, a massage with St. John’s wort herbal oil is worth trying as maintenance care.